Following a summer that has seen them have a massive turnaround in playing staff, AC Milan will look to begin their Serie A campaign with three points at home to Sampdoria this weekend.
It seems fair to say that Milan will have a very different look about them this season. Famous and experienced faces – including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Clarence Seedorf, Thiago Silva and many others – have moved on and in many ways, it is a new era for the San Siro club.
Their ambitions for the campaign haven’t changed though – they want to become Italian Champions.
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Their bid for the title faded last season, with Juventus taking 1st position, meaning they are extra determined to be the team to beat.
It remains to be seen how much can be read into a 5-1 hammering to Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly earlier this month and there is no doubt that a winning start would be more than welcome.
New faces at the club include Giampaolo Pazzini, Francesco Acerbi and Gabriel and they will all want to impress from the off. You could say, the tone set in this opening weekend is more important for Milan than any other club.
Sampdoria will certainly be relishing the challenge of ensuring that Milan get off to a poor start. Following promotion from Serie B, the visitors would love to announce their arrival back in the top flight with a positive result on Sunday evening.
They certainly couldn’t ask for a tougher start to life back in Serie A, especially when you consider that they only won three games on the road back in the 2010/2011 season.
In many ways though, they have nothing to lose and this is a decent position to be in on the opening day.
Nobody is expecting anything other than a home win, but with Milan looking to bed in their new signings and Sampdoria on a high from promotion, anything could happen.